The more leads the better, right? Wrong.
More leads often just means more work for you, because if the funnel is stuffed full of contacts gathered just to meet goals, you’ll more likely create a blockage than create new business. The conversion rate will be low, slow, or worse yet, stagnant. So what’s the solution?
Marketers don’t need to ‘kiss a lot of frogs to meet a prince’ anymore. Read the signals. Be at the right place at the right time and have the answers before the questions are asked. Let’s not wait to be chosen. Let’s be smarter. Fish where the fish are already jumping. Aligning bait with appetite.
First, Let's Look at B2B Buyer Journey Statistics
It’s tough out there. We know that better than anyone, that’s why we created the Demand Acceleration Platform.
- The pool is small - As little as 15% of accounts may be in-market at any given time.
- We can’t see them - B2B buyers do their research on 3rd party channels.
- Buyers don’t want to engage - Almost half, 43% of B2B buyers prefer a rep-free experience. And they only spend 5-6% of their purchase process engaging with sales.
- How can we stand out? - Buyers make purchase decisions in groups of 6-10.
* Source - CSO Update: The New B2B Buying Journey and Its Implication for Sales
You’re not feeling any better, are you? Don’t be put off, the facts are nothing to fear, they help sharpen the spear. Through better targeting and cross-channel activation, you can show a prospect they need you before they even know it, and find them before they’re really looking. So that ‘lead’, isn’t really a ‘lead’ at all, it's pipeline awaiting conversion.
But How Do You Figure Out Who the Right Buyers Are?
Through buying signals and in-market ICP, there are four data sources that you can check against:
The Devil is in the Data
Use the data sources to validate your decisions and remove the guesswork that was leading to weak leads. The Demand Acceleration Platform can be utilised to perform added due diligence by ensuring target account list lead data is standardised, valid, compliant, and marketable. Basically, weed out weak leads before we waste any more time on them.
With strong leads in hand, it's time to grow the business by activating your top prospects with a demand program across channels to align the right buying groups, from the right accounts, at the right time. But this is where you need to refine your approach. Think relevant, not personal. Know what buyers need - their business objectives, role and stage - not where they’ve been and where they bought their last coffee.
It all sounds so easy, but there’s always a but, especially in the buyer-centric world you operate in. There are as many as 20 touchpoints along the journey, and 6-10 decision markers—according to Gartner—so that’s a lot of time to shine, and a lot of time to fail, especially if your marketing efforts are siloed on one demand channel. Just like the answer isn’t more leads, it also isn’t spending more money. You need to activate your efforts across all of your demand channels with intention and precision.
Capture, Educate, Demonstrate
Now, let’s get strategic, and reel them in through cross-channel activation. Display ads will tell buyers what you’re selling and create awareness. Now that you’ve got their interest, it's time to educate them through content syndication. Use that engagement to nurture them through your other channels, such as social, events and webinars, by anticipating their needs and reacting to their behaviour. Now they’re hooked. Invite them to a demo and secure that conversion.
Precision is Key
So, to conclude, the answer isn’t more leads, it's better leads, and better leads isn’t about doing more work and spending more money, it's about being more precise. It's about getting to the buyers before they make their decisions on the platforms where they’re doing their research. It’s about understanding what they want, so you can give it to them. So that when leads enter the system, you’re not simply meeting lead generation goals, you’re guaranteeing new business. It’s Precision Demand Marketing.
Learn more about how to adapt your demand strategy to succeed in a buyer-driven environment by downloading our Cross-channel Activation Guide.